How Much Are Premier League Footballers Paid Per Touch?

by Olivia Mannix

We’re all missing going to the football at the moment, seeing our mates, the regular sights and sounds, that Saturday routine.

But many footballers are also missing football this year, whether it be due to injuries, suspensions and, ever-increasingly, self-isolation.

Here at scotts Menswear, the team wanted to find out which players who have had the fewest touches of the ball have been paid the most, and how much teams are overspending on players who can’t get a kick.

Worst Value

The worst offender this season has been Odion Ighalo, who has earned over £300k per touch of the ball in the Premier League this season.

The Manchester United forward, signed on loan in January 2020 from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, has fallen well down the pecking order at Old Trafford and has cost the club £335,000 with his six league touches in 2020/21.

Our data also shows some big names in the top ten, with Sergio Aguero and Gareth Bale also draining their respective teams for little output.

Aguero, 32, has had a disjointed season due to injuries and COVID-19 isolation periods, so much so, that the Argentine forward has had just 60 touches to date, at a cost of £76,000 per touch.

For Welshman Bale, who has simply found himself out of favour since his return to Tottenham Hotspur from Real Madrid, he has cost the club £67,000 for each of his 89 connections.

Best Value

At the other end of the scale, the best value player in the Premier League this season per touch of the football is Enda Stevens of Sheffield United. The Blades’ defender has cost the club just £84.03 for each of his 952 ball contacts.

Making up the top three for best value players is Dara O’Shea from West Bromwich Albion who is worth £123.80 per touch, and Chris Basham, also from Sheffield United, at £207.25 per touch.


Our research also analysed the clubs which are wasting the most money on players least touching the ball.

Arsenal has spent over £380k for each player’s touch of the ball in 2020/21 so far, this includes the wages spent on Mesut Ozil’s contract before he joined Turkish side Fenerbahçe in January.

This is quite comfortably ahead of the next worst offender, Manchester United, who have spent £255k per touch, in comparison.

West Brom are the team who have been most spent the least on average, with ‘just’ £34k for each contact with the football this season.

The average for the Premier League is £139k, with West Ham United closest to this number on £145k.


Being top of the list, Arsenal pay substantially more than their fiercest rivals Tottenham and Chelsea. In both cases, Mikel Arteta’s men are paying double what Spurs (£145k) and Chelsea are (£152k) per touch. Ouch.

Looking further north, Manchester United are by far a bigger spender than their cross-city competitors Manchester City on player touches this season, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side pay over £70k more per ball connection!

This also means that the Red Devils spend over four times as much as their regional rivals, Liverpool, per touch, as the Merseyside men’s average is £61k.

Perhaps surprisingly, this is much less than their neighbours, Everton, who pay £93k for every ball contact.


Premier League teams based in the south of England are paying the most per touch of the football. Teams located in the south, including London, pay, on average, a whopping £169k to their players for each touch.

This is compared to clubs in the north of the country, who pay £124k per touch, and those in the Midlands, who pay £106k.

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